‘SA facing reality of full-blown state failure by 2030’ – Analyst

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North West University professor and political analyst Professor Andre Duvenhage says South Africa is facing the reality of state failure by 2030 if citizens vote for corrupt politicians in next month’s polls,

Duvenhage was sharing his analysis of former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s warning that if the likes of former President Jacob Zuma were brought back to public office, they would bring the country into total collapse.

Former finance minister Trevor Manuel also joined the chorus of criticising Zuma, describing him as a “totally abusive” individual who had taken the African National Congress’ (ANC) Umkhonto we Sizwe logo and used it against the governing party.

Failed state

Duvenhage told The Citizen, analysts have studied the scenarios of a failed state.

“We did studies about five years, eight years ago about the topic we called the ‘Weak State’ or the ‘failing state,’ and you know, at that time, we were persona non grata when people were saying  we, can just touch on such a topic.“But that is a huge reality in South African politics, and on a daily basis we have seen state failure on literally all levels and it’s on the increase. So, there’s no doubt about the merit of the argument. Where I differ a bit is that I’m not necessarily predicting a full system or regime collapse as a result of that, but it will definitely put systems failure on a higher level,” Duvenhage said.

Duvenhage said there will be lack of confidence of even more people in South Africa.

“I’ve seen some surveys indicating that nine out of ten South Africans are dissatisfied with the performance of the AC as a government. So, that includes ANC supporters, although you can argue there are four out of every ten is currently ANC supporters, but I don’t think we are talking about a collapse, but definitely there will be a problem.

“Let take the hypothetical point that we say that a government combining certain ANC groups, certain MK groups and certain EFF groups, what will happen? I think the reaction economically and financially will be in a way similar to the reaction when Zuma appointed Des Van Rooyen as Minister of Finance. and the chaos that follow there,” Duvenhage said.

Regime risk

Duvenhage warned that while there are real “regime risks” in South Africa, he does not foresee a total collapse.

“What I am picking up is that systems are shifting power away from the state towards other sectors. like individuals start taking responsibility for their own safety, their own housing, their own infrastructure, education, etc.

“This is making the state a lesser role player in their environment. But there exist already parallel structures which will keep the community and society going. But yes, the failed state scenario is there, it’s going to increase and I’m in agreement eunomics that argued that and around 2030 we will be a full blown failed state,” Duvenhage said.


Earlier this year, socio-political analyst and futurist Bronwyn Williams told The Citizen that South African politics needed “a redeemer, a messiah” who people can believe in and presently there was no such person or party for anyone to vote for in this year’s polls.

With the national and provincial elections, scheduled for 29 May, South Africa is on the precipice of the most tense and hotly contested polls since the dawn of democracy 30 years ago.


The Citizen / Faizel Patel